Given my three-fathered past, it's not hard to understand why. In fact, if it weren't for the fact my husband is an amazing Dad to our children, I'd ignore the freaking holiday altogether.
I never thought I had "Daddy" issues--not until doing an interview a year ago when the blogger asked me what themes repeated or carried over in all my novels. As I thought about the question, I was horrified to discover that fathers--or lack thereof--was an underlying theme for each of my heroines. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it was an underlying obstacle for each of them--one that flavored and shadowed their actions and reactions toward the hero of the story.
Took a couple glasses of wine to get over THAT self-actualization.
Before you think I had some monsters for fathers, let me set the record straight: I didn't. There are men out there--and I use the term 'men' very loosely--who drink, who belittle and hit their children and much, much worse. I had none of those.
My fathers weren't monsters. They just sucked at the basic job description of "Dad" and the 'forever' caveat that's supposed to go along with that.
I'll give you a quick run-down of my Father Figures. (I should draw a diagram, or a timeline, as it gets confusing):
Father #1 abandoned me within a year of my birth (never paying child support or helping my mother in any way), and I was led to believe Father #2 was the real deal until 6th grade, when I was introduced to Father #1. By high school, Father #2 abandoned me and my sister (and joined the dead-beat Dad population), while Father #1 took me on as an employee. By college, Father #3 entered the picture, Father #1 sort of lost interest in having a relationship with me (plus I no longer worked for him), and Father #2 was God-knows where doing God-knows what. And in my adulthood, Father #3 abandoned me and my sister (which, as we were adults, was not nearly as devastating as the others), rounding out the whole sordid picture.
Okay, put the damn tissues aside. It's all good.
There are many kids out there who have it much worse, I realize that. And before you comment on this post that I should reconcile with Father #1, #2, or #3, save your breath. I"m working through my father issues in my own way: through writing.
After that fated blog interview, I went through the novels I'd written to see exactly what my father-theme was for each of my heroines. (Bear with this psycho-analysis (pun intended)...I promise there's a point):
Book 1 (published, "Despite the Ghosts") : abandonment, no knowledge of real father, and money/men/trust issues:
Heroine Nola had BOTH parents abandon her at birth, giving her to Nana Bee to raise. Reader discovers that the mother never named the birth father, and Nola will never know who he is. Nola has basic trust issues toward men (especially involving money) and finally learns to love and trust Parker.
Book 2 (published, "Any Witch Way") : abandonment, no knowledge of real father issues:
While I can't reveal the details (without risking a spoiler), those that have read this novella will know Lily's curse has a direct relationship with her father, and parental abandonment features here, as well.
Book 3 (published, "Despite the Fangs") : father missing from picture and trusting men issues:
In my most recent novel, my heroine (Aribella) lost her father when she was growing up. That loss geared her up to be the family's provider, as well as the Alpha, even though she is the youngest of the werewolf pack. Ari's issues are furthered by being left, literally, at the altar by her first human relationship. Her past drives her distrust of men--a fact that makes it difficult for her to trust (and love) hottie hero, Mason Gray.
But in literature, as in life, heroines (and authors) move on.
Happily Ever After is also a theme in all of my books, and this very
managed to marry a man who is an amazing husband and one of the best fathers I know.
So this Father's Day, while I dislike it for my past, I love it for my children's future.
Happily my Ever After,
P. S. Want to see the book videos for my books with (apparently) underlying Father issues? Check them out here, and you can buy them here.